Memory & Productivity: Accomplish More by Taking Notes

Last week I talked about how people can become consumers of content, engaging in material without ever really taking action on it.

We will come across a great idea or valuable piece of advice, and have all the intention in the world to put into practice, but for one reason or another, we don't.

One of the main reasons is that we forget the idea or advice

You've heard me talk about how we humans forget as much as 80% of what we hear, see, and learn within a few hours of hearing, seeing, and learning it. It's surprising how quickly we forget, sometimes within minutes.

In fact, the mind will often hold information just long enough to make sense of the next sentence, and once that sentence is processed, discarded it.

By the time you finish reading an article, blog, or newsletter, or listening to someone talk, you'll remember enough to understand what was said or communicated, but if you were asked to repeat or summarize the content, more than likely, you wouldn't be able.

If you don't remember what to do, how can you ever do it?

It goes without saying, the first step to applying information is to remember it!

So in this newsletter, I'm going to share a simple memory improvement tip to easily remember content you come across.

That tip is to....

Take Notes

Told you it was simple!

Note-taking is the most important habit you can start to ensure you take action on advice or insights you come across.

A mentor, Andy Traub, says if he could offer one advice, it would be to write things down.

More over, studies show writing information down helps you remember it better and longer even if you never look at those notes again.

Note-taking is not just for students

When people hear the word notes, they immediately assume it's for students, those who are nerdy, or that it's an activity that they can do without.

I'll have you know, the most successful people in the world, whether in business, art, science, or self development, are avid note takers.

These people include:

- Richard Branson, billionaire entrepreneur

- J.K. Rowling, author of the wildly popular Harry Potter series

- Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb and the most prolific inventor in history

- Jack Canfield  the most successful self-help author

A good friend of mine recently said, when you write things down, you can change things.

And it's true!

If  you don't write things down, you quickly forget and it can't be done, so nothing changes.

With that said...

Get into the habit of writing down important advice or instructions that come your way

I recommend buying a notebook and keeping it next to you anytime you engage in any form of content. Any time you read a useful advice in a book, learn an interesting hack in a newsletter, listen to a motivating podcast, watch an inspiring video, or hear something in conversation, write it down.

If you don't want to carry a notebook, an alternative is to download a note-taking app, like OneNote or Evernote, on your smartphone or other mobile device. Then jot those inspirational or noteworthy insights that come your way, whether it's something you came up with or encountered elsewhere.

The simple act of noting information signals to the mind that it is worth remembering

And you know what, your mind will put forth the effort to remember it. Otherwise, it will be forgotten like a passing conversation.

In fact, the quote from my friend when you write things down, you can change things was something she uttered out of the blue while we were on a hike. I thought it was gold, so I wrote it down. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have remembered it long enough to share it with you.

Writing inspiring thoughts and ideas down is the first step to applying them. I'll cover other steps in the subsequent posts.

Until next week


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